A guide to coronavirus grants for businesses in shared workspaces in Scotland

A guide to coronavirus grants for businesses in shared workspaces in Scotland
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 5th Jun 2020

The Scottish government has extended coronavirus grants for business properties to businesses in shared office spaces.

Guidance sent to local authorities says the amendment to the scheme applies from 8 June. We've summarised the guidance below:

Extension of the Small Business Grant Fund

The new funding is an extension of the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) which supports businesses paying business rates or eligible for business rates reliefs.

The new grants are targeted at the tenants and/or occupiers of non-domestic properties such as shared office spaces, incubators and industrial units that are not the ratepayer but can show they are required to contribute towards the charges associated with the non-domestic rates liability via the ratepayer for that property.

The guidance says it recognises the guidance may not cover all businesses suitable for supports adding that local authorities have " utilise local knowledge to determine any cases which accord with the overall objectives of the scheme, if not the letter".

Eligible businesses will receive a single grant of £10,000 which will be administered by local authorities in Scotland.

Small businesses not directly liable for non-domestic rates on the property they occupy must meet the following criteria:

  • The occupied property was on the valuation roll and liable for non-domestic rates as at 17 March, irrespective of any relief.

  • The property type is not included in table 2 listing excluded property types here.

  • The tenant/occupier is legally and wholly distinct from the landlord or other party with whom they have a lease/rental agreement; there must be no common ownership, directorship or other shared corporate relationship which suggests the landlord stands to gain directly from the endowment of a grant to the tenant/occupier.

  • The tenant/occupier is not in receipt of any other UK or Scottish government grant support including:

    - SBGF
                                - RHL Grant Fund (RHLGF)
                                - Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund
                                - Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund
                                - Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
                                - Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
                                - Third Sector Resilience Fund

  • Businesses that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not excluded from applying for a grant.

A tenant/occupier applying for support must also meet the following criteria and supply appropriate documentation:

Lease or rental agreement

  • Signed on or prior to 17 March 2020 and valid for occupation on that date.

  • If the local authority cannot verify that the landlord is liable for rates on the property using its own records, they may request documentation proving this, or showing that the tenant/occupier as explicitly or contractually liable for charges associated with non-domestic rates for the property.


  • Proof that the legal person applying for the grant had at least one paid employee on the payroll (not including themselves) as at 17 March.

  • Evidence can include a payroll records from February-March 2020, HMRC PAYE registration and reports for February-March 2020 or prior and/or successful application to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Company and trading

  • Proof that the business is an appropriately registered and trading company or partnership. For individual entities this should include trading name, registered name & Companies House reference number. For partnerships this should include a copy of the partnership agreement or a document indicating partnership from the company solicitor.

  • Additional supporting documents indicative of trade may also be requested by a local authority should it require further evidence.

Business bank account

  • Proof that the business or organisation operates a business bank account. No payments will be made to personal accounts.

  • Proof of business transactions through that account for the period including 17 March 2020.

  • The statement should where possible support other elements of authentication as outlined above including details of wage payments and rent.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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